With the last bids due in early July for eBay Inc.’s classified advertising business, private equity companies seeking to win the auction could arrange for as much as $2.6 billion worth of debt to finance the transaction. Those who are left taking part in the auction are Adevinta ASA, Prosus NV, and a group composed of Blackstone Group Inc., Hellman & Friedman LLC and Permira, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.
In February, the eCommerce company said it was in discussions with different entities regarding a possible arrangement for its classified business while it contended with pressure to focus on its primary digital marketplace by activist investors. Blackstone, Adevinta, Prosus and H&F turned down a request for comment by the outlet, while Permira did not instantaneously return reply to queries for a reply.
One of the sources said in the report that the debt could be in both dollars and euros, considering the scope of the possible arrangement and the requirement for funding in various denominations. The unit could bring in up to 10 billion euros, with the overall deal one of the biggest deals in Europe in 2020 in which private equity companies participated. It has valuation exceeding 20 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
In February, news surfaced that interested parties encompassed Naspers, Blackstone Group, Axel Springer and TPG. At the time, it was noted that eBay had also begun looking into other possible purchasers. The classifieds of eBay work mostly in other countries, and it’s much like a site similar to Craigslist through which users can put goods up for sale.
eBay had reportedly been mulling doing something with the unit for a good part of last year, and it was noted in February that the company could possibly spin it off, go into a joint operation with another firm, or sell it.
And, in May, news surfaced that KKR & Co.-backed publishing company Axel Springer had put forward an initial bid for the eBay unit.